The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) is required for maintenance of the viral genome DNA during the latent phase of EBV replication but continues to be synthesized after the induction of viral productive replication. An EBV genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that EBNA1 constantly binds to oriP of the EBV genome during not only latent but also lytic infection. Although the total levels of EBNA1 proved constant throughout the latter, the levels of the oriP-bound form were increased as lytic infection proceeded. EBV productive DNA replication occurs at discrete sites in nuclei, called replication compartments, where viral replication proteins are clustered. Confocal laser microscopic analyses revealed that whereas EBNA1 was distributed broadly in nuclei as fine punctate dots during the latent phase of infection, the protein became redistributed to the viral replication compartments and localized as distinct spots within and/or nearby the compartments after the induction of lytic replication. Taking these findings into consideration, oriP regions of the EBV genome might be organized by EBNA1 into replication domains that may set up scaffolding for lytic replication and transcription.
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